m i a o w

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Tag: holiday

Going on Holiday

This morning we had planned to leave at 10am. I am slowly realising that B and M plus toddler takes double the amount of time to organise. Thus, we didn’t leave until 11.30am.

This was after a night which included Small Z vomiting so copiously that she was limp, and then going to sleep, only to wake up coughing and unable to stop until about 11pm. Thus, our plans for leaving early were killed off before they even began.

M, struck down by a cold and traumatised by fainting the day before while having blood tests, was hoarse, slightly woebegone, but strangely zen this morning. Even when we finally left, drove 15km, and then had to go home again because I left my bank card behind, he barely flinched. He maintained this through the horrible traffic snagging us through the city and out the other side.

Small Z, on a three hour car journey, did not have her normal nap, but coped admirably – buoyed by my song and dance routines as we got closer to our planned stop in Malmsbury – home of one of my favourite all time cafes.

We finally reached the Maldon Folk Festival ticket office sometime before 5pm. I was comforted to spy a lovely Humber Supersnipe just as we drove into town. Small Z was thrilled by the sight of a girl with long plaits riding a donkey through the streets, and then kept asking where all the ‘muthic and danthing’ was that we’d told her about.

It was so lovely to finally find E, D and Small E (apparently unscathed by my babysitting efforts the other day) with their tent up and a caravan friendly spot. M and I have been SO looking forward to this weekend away – it already feels like a breath of fresh air, sitting on a camp chair (thanks, Rie!) and hearing music leaking up the hill from the performance tents. At least three nights in the caravan…couldn’t be better.

The campsite…

The campsite

Barwon Heads

The evening following our foray to Emerald, Small Z was hard to get to sleep. We tried. Then she was back up at around 8pm. M and I looked at each other. We had been invited away to Barwon Heads for Mung’s birthday weekend, but weren’t going to go as it seemed too far for just one night and my back was s-o-r-e.

A text came through from Mung asking whether we would be arriving that night or the next morning. M – who usually hates driving distances, tentatively suggested we drive down right then, arrive at around 11pm and wake up there in the morning – thus giving ourselves two nights away. I jumped on this plan.

We made a pact not to dither around getting ready and were out of the house, packed, with caravan hitched, thirty-five minutes later. I think that’s some kind of record. All hail the soothing power of the automobile – Small Z slept the entire way. *boggles*

As we drew near Barwon Heads, and the super cool 1950’s style holiday house that they had rented, M said that he was sure everyone would be asleep by now. No way! I told him, it’s only about 11’o’clock – they’ll be up knocking back a few beers. We drew up, got sorted, and M grabbed his four remaining beers like a Frat boy, and hared off to party. Returning five minutes later, mournful. They were all in bed…

Fishing
Fishing near the Barwon Heads Bridge
Luka. Running.
The morning after the night before

Boxing Day and Binginwarri

We had a lovely Boxing Day at Loch – a feast of wondrous proportions. Champagne. Splodge the cat. Unholy amounts of smoked trout, D’Affinois and soy and honey drumsticks. Followed by a cream cake. Small Z had a snooze in the caravan, and was delighted to receive a new book and some Thomas the Tank Engine shaped… PASTA?! Ha!

Small Z & Man-With-Beard's Feet
Boxing Day Rose
Splodge. The Boxing Day Cat.

People lingered until around 6pm, and Small Z and I retired an hour or so after that. I continue to enjoy waking up in the caravan – particularly at Loch where you can listen to birds and cows beginning their day. It’s nice to then tiptoe across damp grass to the house, where there is often a pot of tea underway. I particularly like the new windows in the bathroom that grants the reflected a sort of smoothed, well-lit, blemish free view. A lovely way to start the day…

We set off to Binginwarri at around 10.30am, hoping that Small Z would sleep. We stopped briefly at Korumburra op-shop, where they were having a sale, and then continued on, with Small Z becoming more and more fractious, translating into raised stress levels for driver M. I relocated to the backseat in an effort to alleviate both situations, and actually managed to READ Small Z to sleep by using a very sleepy boring voice… A feat that has never occurred before. Naturally this occurred two minutes before arriving at Roy and Kaye’s *groan* meaning there had to be a quick transfer from backseat to caravan bed…

We had been unaware that lunch was going to be awaiting us, and had several starving people cursing our lateness, in a friendly fashion. We stayed two nights, with each day hotter than the next and a tiger snake spotted on the final day. On the 27th (Happy Birthday Small Brother!!) we all ventured down to Port Albert, where we got some sublime fish and chips from the tarted up place near the pier. I remembered reading a review of it not long ago…

Little Earth Stories - Author. Beachside.
Small Z in Sam's baby swing

We left in the late afternoon on the 28th, after Kaye showed Small Z her first frog and we got to scope out the cousin’s squeeze (Hi KL!) We paused at Port Welshpool to give Small Z a run and to see if we could replicate the fish and chip experience of the previous day. We did! Go to the place nearest to the pier…It’s interesting that only a few days after this, there was an article in The Age discussing the rarity of fish and chip shops that were able to use locally caught fish.

Port Welshpool. On our way home

Sated by our food, we decided to call up Loch and ask if we would be able to stay the night on the way back. Glad we did – as it was dark by the time we got there and Small Z was valiantly hoicking her eyelids wide. It was a nice way to finish our post-Christmas journey. In the morning we made scrambled eggs and watched the first episode of Beachcomber Cottage on iView – he reminded me somewhat of Donal MacIntyre.

We arrived back home at around 1pm and I was thrilled to discover the letterbox piled high with all the books I had ordered from the Book Depository. Better late than never. I had warned the residents of Loch that their gifts were in the mail…

All the way to Venus Bay

This time last year I was taking the Smalls into the city and then on a train toward Lake Eppalock**. It was a total epic. A year later, it was Mr H’s 50th birthday and it was on our side of the city. Win! Three nights in Venus Bay 🙂

A house was booked for us to make use of – such largesse 🙂 There was a spot for the caravan just outside. The house was a kid-friendly wonderland, with toys, swings, trampoline, puzzles and games.

We drove in late on the Friday of the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend. It was almost a religious experience…

Venus Bay - Dusk

Wood-heater, three bedrooms, large television and exceedingly hot water. We got to catch up with our long lost friends who moved to NSW two years ago, and it was almost as if no time had passed at all…although they collectively gasped at the size of the Smalls… We all consoled ourselves with extensive amounts of wonderful cheeses…

I have left out a few things. The weather. The weather was sublime – for winter, it couldn’t have been better. I had put M on strict orders before leaving that he was to be on primary Small duty for the whole time, as I had not had a break for longer than I could remember.

However. He was saved from this on the Saturday morning when my dear Mrs H and her lovely sister took the Smalls to the beach, telling me to DO NOTHING. I was really good at it! Crosswords, tea, caravan in sunshine…

Caravan serenity...
Small DB. Beach.
[Photo: Margie]
Small Z. Beach.
[Photo: Margie]

M and Mr H went out with fishing rods and stout hearts in pursuit of fish. There were none. Meanwhile, the ladies and Smalls brunched in the sun, white wine and all. Mrs H, the Smalls and Master H then went on a jaunt to Harley’s house – the octogenarian Humber-whisperer of Venus Bay. We got a tour of his home cinema – and I do not use that term lightly – there are seats in it from the Regent theatre, there are swathes of gold and maroon, proper lighting, proper projectors and an aisle built for rolling jaffas down. It was a-w-e-s-o-m-e…

Saturday night was NIGHT OF PARTY!! There was 6pm dancing, more antipasto than you could poke a platter at, and a late dinner of two kinds of lasagne…followed by a Rather Impressive Cake. There was considerable wine involved. But there is nothing that makes me more self-regulatory than the knowledge that I’ll probably be awoken before 7am…

And therefore…Sunday was a day of recovery. We ladies went for a Very Long Walk. Birthday Man slept in. M took the Smalls on an adventure. Myself and the ladies felt very virtuous, discussing our walking alignment, strides and whether there were any houses we would deign to have as our own holiday destinations… There were cows to look at. And an Irish wolfhound.

Brunching with Crossword & Wine

[Photo: Margie]

A quiet night. Have I mentioned that the nights were clear? Clear and snap-cold freezing? We froze our noses off in the caravan, but the rest of our parts were toasty. M and I watched The Hobbit – my first DVD in at least two years. I was impressed.

We finished off the weekend by cleaning up the house, heading to a market in Lower Tarwin and then barbecuing by the Tarwin River before journeying home. Happy Birthday Mr H. Belated thanks for the whole extravaganza!

The front of the house

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